10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2014 4:59 PM by Guy Tondeur

    Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japan

    Anthony Le Bleis

       

      What do you think about this innovative new vehicle? Personally i like it! Do you prefer to have a Twizy or an i-Road?

      Guy Tondeur Emmanuel IGIER Andre Douaud Patrice Person Nicolas Zart Alexis Duflos

        • Re: Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japang

          Twizy and i-Road are placed between cars and scooters. Both vehicles offer more comfort than a scooter.

          I think Twizy with 4 wheels is closer to a car than i-Road. (I am not used with the three-wheel vehicles).

          This is only a first impression on driving and it will be necessary to go further in the comparison of the performances.

            • Re: Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japang
              Anthony Le Bleis

              Twizy 45 (the less powerful model) and i-road are competitors. They are both dedicated to urban mobility. Twizy seems to have higher autonomy and i-road higher performances. (more information here #french)

               

              This two models, accessible without driving license, raise the question of non-licensed electric car development in our cities!

               

              What is your position on non-licensed electric car development?

               

              Dominique Aimon Emmanuel IGIER Andre Douaud Patrice Person 

                • Re: Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japang

                  If the maximum speed and the weight are in the same range as the thermal cars, I see no argument to differentiate the need for a driving license.

                  Some parallel aspects have been examined in Rio 2010 by the workshop #5 on "can cars be both light and safe?".

                  § 4: Would the creation of a specific car segment help to reduce mass? The question was: "... would it be worth defining a specific car segment that would be less demanding in terms of road safety performance, due to, for instance the limited use in urban conditions leading to a specific accident risk exposure or other specific limitations such as:
                  - reduced safety level (to help reduce weight)
                  - built-in speed limitation
                  - restricted motorway or road access
                  ...
                  The answer was "no". "

                  There is no way to completely avoid accident conditions just as is the case for standard cars;
                  Same usage means same safety level

                  And I would add: same drivers' education.
                  In urban use, the EVs can be more dangerous than the standard cars because you can hear them when they are very close to you. EVs have no gas... but a lithium battery or a FC in a few years...
                  This is why I think a (maybe adapted) driving license is necessary. 

                  • Re: Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japang

                    To compare different strategies for designing a vehicle focused to be used in a city it is important to remind that:

                    • A city vehicle to be efficient needs to be narrow to find easily its way through the traffic
                    • It also has to be light in order to reduce its fuel / energy consumption and to have a good acceleration without needing a big engine
                    • The driver wants to be protected from rain and cold as much as possible
                    • And of course the vehicle needs to be safe.

                    When we compare 3 types of city light vehicles (with 2 wheels, 3 wheel or 4wheel) we have the following;

                    The lightest and narrowest solution is the 2 wheel solution but every driver is not comfortable with it

                    The 4 wheel vehicle cannot take camber when turning which means that to be safe in curves it has to have a very low center of gravity and a significant track (which is the natural anti roll of a vehicle). The consequence is a wider vehicle which makes it more difficult to find easily its way through the traffic.

                    A three wheeler capable to take camber is a good solution as it combines the benefit of not being as wide and heavy as a 4 wheeler while giving extra safety when turning on wet road versus 2 wheelers. This has been clearly illustrated by the success of 3 wheeler scooters in European cities.

                    Adding a rain and cold protection on a cambering 3 wheeler has probably a good potential.

                    Safe, narrow, light, easy and fun to drive, rain and cold protected will be the key winning features for a modern city vehicle

                • Re: Toyota i-Road prototypes to begin testing in Japan

                  All this makes me think of post-war Europe's microcars especially the Magyar Alba Regia, the Balaton (both ran of 250cc motorcyle engines), the Uttoro and another known as the "motorised shoe". Italy had its Iso Isetta, Germany the kabinenroller, Poland the Smyk and Czechoclovakia the Velorex. Then there was the Reliant Robin in England in the 1970s. Economy of design, frugal vehicles, ease of production and simplicity were the driving principles in the 1950s. Our present-day issues are making us rethink the car but with admittedly more elegant solutions. Some of the microcars paid no road tax but I am unsure about a driving license. The microcar is back with 21st century engineering solutions.